Venezuela puts 10% share of top state bank up for sale


Caracas, May 26 : The Venezuelan government has officially put up for sale up to 10 per cent of the shares of the country's top state-owned bank. The Ministry of Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade said in a statement it is a "first step" to offering private national and international investors the opportunity to buy stock in public companies through the stock market, reports Xinhua news agency. "The public offer of 5 per cent to 10 per cent progressively of the Bank of Venezuela's (BDV) share capital will allow all citizens who wish to participate in the success of a solid public company. "The BDV shows 169 per cent growth in the public's deposits and has more than 15 million customers," the Ministry added. According to the Ministry, the bank is "the top profit-making bank in the National Financial System". On May 11, resident Nicolas Maduro announced the government would sell between 5 and 10 per cent of shares in several state-run companies "for fundamentally national, or international, investment". Maduro mentioned companies in such areas as telecommunications, petrochemicals, gas and oil, and mining could be opened up to investment. The shares of Venezuelan state-owned companies have increased in value since the May 11 announcement, the head of the Bicentennial Public Stock Exchange, Rodolfo Medina, said Wednesday. Shares of telecommunications company CANTV rose in value by 342.20 per cent in the 13-day period following the announcement, Medina said in an interview with the state-owned Venezuelan television network. According to Medina, the rise in share values signalled that "the market welcomes" the decision. /IANS


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